Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chow Down to Eurovision 2014 - Belgium

Goedenavond, Bonsoir, Guten Abend, this is Belgium calling and when you have 3 official languages you get an extra welcome.

Last year's Chow Down to Eurovision was a great success for Belgium, more artistically than on the score board but they made a sensational beer soup, yes that is a meal of beer!

This year they have gone for an equally comforting dish, with just a gentle nod to my idea of 80's food, where if it was covered in a cheese sauce it was fine dining.

Now the 80's weren't kind to hair or fashion but you can just imagine how great they were for Eurovision!

In 1981 Emly Starr sang Samson in Dublin, I'm not sure but I suspect in the 80's Samson may have lost all his butch manliness with a spiral perm.
Samson came 13th.

Witlof Gratin
  • 8-9 witlof
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 40g butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 200g  maasdam or Swiss cheese grated
  • 8-9 slices of prosciutto
  • 100g parmesan grated
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and add squeeze of lemon
  • Add the witlof and boil for about 10 minutes
  • Drain the witlof upside down in a colander (it is best to do this over night so they aren't too water logged)
  • Make the sauce 
  • In a medium saucepan melt the butter on high heat
  • Add the flour and combine to make a paste
  • Cook for flour for about 1 minute
  • Slowly add some milk/stock while whisking to avoid lumps
  • Reduce the heat and continually stir
  • As the sauce thicken add more milk/stock and continue to stir
  • Repeat till all milk is used and sauce has thickened
  • Add grated maasdam and stir through
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Wrap each witlof in a slice of prosciutto and lay in a greased baking dish
  • Cover with sauce
  • Sprinkle top with parmesan
  • Bake in 180°C oven for 30-35 minutes
If so inclined you can arrange them to recreate a scene from Alien with one poking up.
AB was not a fan of the bitterness in the witlof but I love it, that speaks volumes, AB is the nice one around here!

Copenhagen will see Axel Hirsoux perform the hauntingly beautiful ode Mother, which if he makes it through, the final is the day before Mother's Day, well played Sir, well played!

I hope he brings the backing dancer with him as in my world he is singing to the ghost of his mother, Edith Piaf.
Goei chance!


    Another interesting recipe! Yum!
    Cheers! Joanne

  2. We love witlof (endive) in salads but now, I quite fancy giving this a go….hmmm

  3. You really must like bitter witlo(o)f. Never boil witloof! Witloof should be braised. Put it in a deep pot and add only enough water to cover the bottom half of the witloof. Put the lit on the pot and let it simmer. The witloof is ready when you can put a fork through the bottom of it. If you want the full culinary experience, then take of the lit before the witloof is ready and put the fire on maximum. Put some nutmeg on the witloof and a lump of butter on each witloof. Wait for the water to cook off and for the butter to start caramelising the witloof. Take it out of the pot before it starts turning black!